Ivanka Trump responds to D.C. exhibit 'Ivanka Vacuuming'

Ivanka Trump responds to D.C. exhibit 'Ivanka Vacuuming'
By Elisha Fieldstadt with NBC News Politics
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Guests are invited to throw crumbs at a "woman bearing a striking resemblance to that Ivanka" as she continuously vacuums.


Ivanka Trump responded Tuesday to a Washington, D.C., art exhibit in which a woman who resembles her continuously vacuums crumbs thrown toward her by gallery visitors.

"Women can choose to knock each other down or build each other up. I choose the latter," the president's daughter and advisor wrote in a tweet, accompanied by an article about the exhibit, called "Ivanka Vacuuming."

The installation, sponsored by CulturalDC and housed less than a mile from the White House, features a "woman bearing a striking resemblance to that Ivanka, cleaning a plush pink carpet" with a vacuum, said a press release from the organization.

In front of the woman is a pedestal topped with a pile of crumbs, which guests are invited to throw on to the carpet and watch "as Ivanka elegantly vacuums up the mess, her smile never wavering," the release said.

"Inspired by a figure whose public persona incorporates an almost comically wide range of feminine identities - daughter, wife, mother, sister, model, working woman, blonde — Ivanka Vacuuming is simultaneously a visual celebration of a contemporary feminine icon; a portrait of our own relationship to that figure; and a questioning of our complicity in her role-playing," the release said.

But the installation wasn't designed to evoke any particular feeling, according to CulturalDC. Instead, the process of throwing the crumbs and watching "Ivanka" vacuum them "is intentionally open to multiple, often contradictory interpretations that are as critical of the interpreter as they are of the subject."

"Ivanka vacuuming" debuted on February 1 and will run until Feb. 17 for two hours a day.

"Here is what's complicated: we enjoy throwing the crumbs for Ivanka to vacuum. That is the icky truth at the center of the work. It's funny, it's pleasurable, it makes us feel powerful, and we want to do it more," said Jennifer Rubell, the New York-based artist who conceptualized the exhibit.

On Tuesday, Rubell and CulturalDC reached out to Trump "inviting her to see the exhibit to make a judgment firsthand," said representative Whitney Stringer.

"Ivanka, I would encourage you to see the piece and form your own direct response. I would be happy to arrange for you to do it alone with none of the media circus that has formed around it" Rubell tweeted to Trump. "Not knocking anyone down. Exploring complicated subjects we all care about."

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